Breadfruit 'Tostones'

>> Thursday, 21 January 2016

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Tostones are twice fried green plantains and are very popular in Latin American cuisine. I love plantains in all stages - green, turning, ripe and over ripe - and making tostones is one of my favourite ways to enjoy green plantains.

Last year, while watching Andrew Zimmern visit St. Croix (one of the US Virgin Islands) on his show Bizarre Foods, a family with South American roots prepared a feast at their home. Among the many things they made were pickled green bananas and breadfruit tostones. While I use breadfruit to make many things from breads to puddings, to chips, to curry, I had never thought of twice frying them in the form of tostones. Since watching that episode I have been making breadfruit tostones often. Shhh, don't let the green plantains know, but I think that I might secretly love the breadfruit tostones more than the traditional plantain tostones! Whhaaaat?

The breadfruit tostones stay tender when cooled to room temperature unlike the green plantain tostones. The green plantain tostones when made should be eaten immediately if not they become a little dry and chewy.

To make breadfruit tostones, start by getting yourself a nice full, heavy breadfruit, peel, core it, cut into wedges and then into large chunks. Meanwhile heat some oil in a frying pan for shallow frying - the oil should come up about 1/2 inch in the pan.

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Fry the breadfruit in batches until golden and the outside is firm. Transfer them to a cutting board or work surface and use a heavy pan such as a cast iron skillet or some other thing that is heavy with a flat surface. Press down on the hot, fried breadfruit to smash it. Repeat until all are smashed.

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Working in batches, fry the smashed breadfruit in the same heated oil until golden and crisp on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt immediately when you remove them from the pan. Serve as a snack or side dish. If serving as a snack, condiments such as pepper sauce, hot sauce, ketchup and mayo will work but honestly, they are good on their own. If I make this in the evening, I eat it without condiments along with a big cup of tea.

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